What's new in various product categories; monthly
Decorative Painting Gets a Face Lift
New programs should give the category a boost.
by Shea Szachara (February, 2004)
HIA 2004…what a show! This was, without a doubt, the largest
exhibition in this organization’s 63-year history. Each major
category section alone had to be ten times larger than the entire
first show that I attended in the early 70's. The massive variety of
booths and products shown was awesome.
For me, without sectioning, the show would be mind-boggling.
Although there was not enough time to visit with every company
directly involved with decorative painting, I was fortunate enough
to interview several of this category’s key influencers. Many have
plans in place for this coming year to promote decorative painting
by updating this art form in ways that will attract new consumers.
They plan to do this through some outstanding educational programs
and all are putting websites and use of the Internet high on their
list of promotional venues. Many are also looking at the
possibilities for decorative painting tie-ins with today’s popular
memory-scrapbooking areas; there was one totally new company based
on this idea alone.
Painting & Scrapbooking.
Showing for the first time, Scrapbooking Plus…the painted
touch is a new company formed by four well-known, highly
experienced business people in the decorative painting world: Gerry
and Jerry Klein, Eas’l Publications; Gretchen Cagle, Gretchen
Cagle Publications; Tim Mulvey, Houston Art; and Brenda Stewart,
Brenda Stewart by Design. GDP4 Group is the name of this new
business venture dedicated to an introductory learning-to-paint
program for scrapbook retailers and their customers.
Jerry Klein said the goal is to make it as easy as possible for
scrapbook retailers to incorporate decorative painting into their
classes. The GDP4 Group has put together a complete line of brushes
and paints (that work well on paper) with four new books focused on
scrapbook pages. These appealing but easy-to-accomplish designs are
shown on scrapbook pages, plus additional functional surfaces. They
are designed not only to bring scrapbookers to decorative painting,
but also to bring decorative painters to scrapbooking.
One interesting service: because of their extensive contacts with
decorative painters, the GDP4 Group can provide teachers for
retailers who add the program. For more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal & Langnickel Brush Mfg. have plans in place to
continue their highly successful Creative Student Art Contest.
Last year the company received 1,000+ entries from students across
the country ranging from kindergarten to senior high school. Susan
Kelly, the program coordinator, described the categories for entry
that are entitled "Beautiful Places," "My Hero,"
and "My Favorite Activity." Entries are broken down by
grade level for judging with K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12 with each
receiving entries from all categories. This year they will be adding
a "Special Needs" level without grade level divisions.
Judging is done by the company’s Royal Ambassadors with
prizes for 1st place ($250 + $250 in product); 2nd place ($100 +$100
in product); and 3rd place ($50 + $50 in product). The teachers who
submit the winning entries for their students are given equal free
product choice amounts. The program is advertised through the NAEA
(National Art Education Assn.), its local chapters, and at the
various school shows in which Royal participates.
In addition, Royal will continue its Royal Ambassador program
in conjunction with various industry paint companies. Betsy Edwards,
Director of Education, leads a team of 15 well-known decorative
authors/teachers who travel across the country teaching seminars for
affiliated chapters of The Society of Decorative Painters. They
bring new techniques and product knowledge to the decorative
painter. Learn more at www.royalbrush.com.
Kim Ballor, Director of Education for Plaid, revealed that
a planned expansion of the highly successful One-Stroke classes will
be launched Mar. 1, taking them into all of the Michaels stores.
Currently there are more than 3,000 Certified Donna Dewberry
One-Stroke Instructors (O.S.C.I.s) available throughout the U.S. and
Canada. Through her numerous television appearances, Donna’s
far-reaching popularity has brought interest in decorative painting
into homes everywhere. Now these planned One-Stroke classes with
qualified instructors will give new painters the opportunity to
learn her techniques in nearby Michaels stores. Learn more at
www.plaidonline.com or www.onestroke.com.
Martin/F Weber Co. has a new Learning Center General Manager
in Donna Campbell with a well thought out decorative painting
program that will be launched this year. Susan Scheewe,
internationally known teacher/author/publisher, will play an
integral part of Weber’s Art Learning Center Program.
The program is designed to attract newcomers to decorative
painting – and to give very strong sales support to independent
retailers. Retailers who join the program will be given ample
discounts and the opportunity to participate in three-day product
education seminars called "Meet and Learn Gatherings."
Plus, well-known Weber Art Travel Teachers will be available for
Plans are in place for program retailers with a Weber Learning
Center to feel connected to Weber and each other through the
Internet. There will be direct referrals to these owners, a chat
room for them, and available mailing lists for their use. Additional
support will be given the retailers through promotional specials and
print advertising from Weber that will appear in consumer
publications. Contact Donna at email@example.com.
Improving the Web.
According to Shirley Miller, Director of Education and Public
Relations for Loew-Cornell, plans to strengthen and update
its current website learning programs. There will be more areas on
the site showing product uses and techniques. The Spectrum
newsletter, edit by Mary McCullah, with focus on teachers and their
views will continue. The online "Question of the Month"
feature, which goes out to a large email list of teachers and
students, has been very popular. Response to this personal contact
from Loew-Cornell has been an outstanding networking connection for
decorative painters. Learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Nelson, VP of Marketing, advised that Delta will
continue with their generous support of The Society of Decorative
Painters, its affiliated chapters worldwide, and The Decorative Arts
Collection and Museum. The company has done this through financial
sponsorships, show classes, teacher product sampling, and seminar
support. The Delta website brings projects, worksheets, and
instructions to the decorative painter. Delta has also recently
launched a new site called HOMEspirations where visitors will
find inspired ideas for their home and life.
The 2003 Delta Design Challenge gave decorative painters of all
levels an opportunity to show their talents. Winning entries are
being honored in national advertising and instructions are available
at a new Delta e-zine.
Painting for the Family is a new program aimed at bringing
fun activities with paint to kids and young adults and helping them
be successful. Hopefully from these types of encounters their
interest will eventually grow into more traditional decorative
painting techniques. The idea will be introduced by Delta at the
2004 SDP Conference in Phoenix. More detailed information on this as
well as their planned 2004 Design Challenge will be available very
soon. Visit www.deltacrafts.com and
Painting for All.
Dana Conover, Director of Marketing for DecoArt, explained
that the company believes its Decorative Painting for Everyone program
launched in mid-2002 is a real success. Consequently, this year
DecoArt will launch new suggested project samples supported with
updated promotional materials. The updated program will include new
painters' guides, teachers' kits, and project instructions. All of
DecoArt’s 2,500+ Helping Artists will receive information on the
new program features covering basic techniques for the beginner. The
essence of the complete program is to introduce newcomers to
decorative painting and can be found at www.decorativepaintingforeveryone.com.
Daler-Rowney is planning to put more product into the
teachers’ hands in 2004, according to Marketing Coordinator, Terry
Eisenbrey. The company will have more consumer offers available, and
the website is being updated to offer more techniques, friendly
tips, and information on brushes and their uses. Find additional
information at www.daler-rowney.com.
A well planned program called Creative Possibilities is
being introduced by Vicki Rhodes, Product Manager for Chroma Inc.
Veteran Chroma teacher Betty Jo Evans has been instrumental in
development of this new, three-year program. According to Vicki,
each year consists of a 14-lesson curriculum that covers a
thoroughly tested, no-fail, decorative painting method resulting in
a classy and appealing look. The first part of the program consists
of basic information, drawing lessons, and a Guided Palette System
(GPS). A foundation is laid with a progression of skills introduced
as the students paint a sampler on the cover of a sketchbook.
The ultimate aim of the program is to give newcomers the ability
to create their own design, in their choice of colors, on their
selected surface. Participants will be given all the tools needed to
personally create their own expression of decorative painting. After
introduction at the SDP Conference in June, plans are to take the
program to painters in both Australia and Japan. More details are
available at www.chromaonline.com.
This is just a sampling of the many programs and strategies
manufacturers are planning to improve sales in education. Among the
other items of note: Tara/Fredrix introduced a new line of canvas
for watercolors ... Martin/F. Weber celebrated 10 years of
association with Sue Scheewe with a reception in her honor ...
Priscilla Hauser and Cutter Productions are working on plans for a
PBS series ... A number of the paint companies have developed paint
for scrapbookers to use on all sorts of paper.
All in all, the future looks brighter for decorative painting.
(Note: Shea is one of the most well-known (and well liked)
decorative painting pros in the business. Contact her at email@example.com
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